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13.06.2024. In the organization of the GIZ – German Development Fund, the General Secretary of the UBCG participated in a regional conference in Tirana, which was dedicated to cashless payments, empower digitalization, accelerate economies, reducing the gray economy, emphasizing the experience in Serbia.





09:00-09:30                         Welcome drinks and participant registration


09:30-09:50                         Opening addresses

Thilo Schroeter, Deputy Head of Mission, German Embassy in Albania

Violeta Jovanović, founder, Partnership for Competitive Region

Endrit Yzeiraj, Vice Minister, Ministry of Economy, Culture and Innovation, Albania

Holti Banka, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, World Bank, Albania


09:50-11:00                         Panel discussion: Fostering electronic payments and fair competition in WB6

Ledia Bregu, Director of Payment Systems, Accounting and Finance Department, Bank of Albania 

Jelena Davidović, Head of Directorate for FinTech, Ministry of Finance, Montenegro

Ivan Nedev, Head of the Financial System Department, Ministry of finance, North Macedonia

Stefan Dragojević, Special Advisor, Financial System Department, Ministry of Finance, Serbia


Moderator: Anjeza Beja, DFS Lead Albania, Country Advisory and Economics Unit


11:00-11:15                         Q&A Session / Family photo

11:15-11:35                         Coffee & Snack Networking break


11:35-12:15                         Deep dive session: Industry led initiatives to grow e-payments in the region

Better Way case study: Dušan Vasiljević, Competitiveness and Investment Director, NALED, Serbia

Silvia Hadzhiyaneva, Director for Public Policy Bulgaria & Western Balkans, Mastercard
Saša Ranđelović, Professor, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Belgrade, Serbia 


Session host: Zlatko Milikić, Team Leader, Cashless Payment Initiative – Serbia | develoPPP, GIZ, Serbia

The information relies heavily on the attitudes that we already inherit in Montenegrin banks association.

Understanding the current situation, we would like to point to developed markets with a longer history of using payment cards and developing markets, where electronic payment can be considered rare, we see that both are adopting new payment methods. Developed countries, for example, given their cashless market history, have a developed infrastructure for accepting payments, and customers have been choosing cashless payment methods for a long time, so the transition to mobile payment methods is a natural process of payment advancement for them. In contrast, in developing markets, customers have the same mobile devices, but the level of adoption is somewhat lower, mainly due to a lack of infrastructure. This tells us that we are in a position to offer new payment methods on these markets – the so-called. push payments, QR codes, initiated payments, etc. Despite the fact that the situations are not the same in all markets, we should all be familiar with the fact that smart devices are the most effective way to develop a cashless payment method. The different approaches complement each other, to enable users to use smart devices for payments, no matter where they are.

What we know is that there are two technological solutions. So, what I would emphasize is the already mentioned tokenization, due to the trend of switching from plastic cards to consumer devices, i.e. users of electronic payment methods. When I say devices, I don’t mean only smartphones, but it also includes other devices connected to the IoT system – those that can potentially be or have already taken root as a means of payment – from bracelets, rings, cars, to smart refrigerators, etc. When we look only at the field of card payments, maximum care is taken with security and there is no doubt about how reliable the chips on the cards are for storing data. This security, which exists in the physical environment, must also be provided in the digital environment, and this is a challenge, because when looking at the transition from cards to personal smart devices used by customers, which are completely outside the control of banks, we must ensure that all these payment methods are secure enough, and user data protected. In that case, tokenization, which has been established and is used as a standard, is exactly what we have developed and which we use with a large number of products in the system of connected devices. The token, which is a substitute for a plastic card, does not reveal the cardholder’s details, is limited to a specific domain and can be managed independently of the primary account. In the age of IoT, with connected devices becoming means of payment, tokenization takes on even greater importance. Another thing I have to mention is the blockchain, i.e. distributed ledger technology, which is considered the technology of the future with high-quality application in banking.